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Introducing Copilot for Microsoft 365: What you need to know

As we enter a new era of AI, we begin to realise that AI has fundamentally changed how we relate to and benefit from technology. With the convergence of chat interfaces and large language models such as ChatGPT, you can now ask for what you want in natural language and the technology is smart enough to answer, create or act on limited prompts.

In today’s fast-paced business landscape, incorporating AI in the workplace is essential to optimising operations and driving growth.

What is Copilot for Microsoft 365?

Copilot for Microsoft 365 is Microsoft’s answer to GPT taking the world by storm. Using the power of GPT, this AI assistant will help you with anything that you need it to — all with a simple prompt and a click. Copilot has truly changed the game for businesses, giving you the full power of AI from your existing office applications.

Copilot for Microsoft 365 can be thought of as gaining copilot to help navigate any task by working alongside you. Embedded in the Microsoft 365 apps you use every day — Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams and more — it can unleash creativity, unlock productivity and uplevel your skills.

With Copilot, you’re always in control. You decide what to keep, modify or discard. Now, you can be more creative in Word, more analytical in Excel, more expressive in PowerPoint, more productive in Outlook and more collaborative in Teams.

Real World Copilot for Microsoft 365 Use Cases

Writing a report with Copilot in Word

Copilot for Microsoft 365 is amazing at writing and generating documents in Word. From simple letters and emails to full reports, Copilot will let you create professional and elegant documents in just a matter of seconds — with a clear and easy-to-read report being one of the most relevant ways to use it.

All you need to do is ask Copilot to create a report based on the data that you input — either inputting data or naturally letting Copilot take it from your organisation’s data storage — and Copilot will do the rest.
It may seem like a full report is too much for Copilot for 365, but Copilot can generate up to 20,000 words from a simple prompt, making it incredibly easy to generate a decently sized report from your data. Plus, if the report isn’t to your specifications, you can also refine your prompts to ensure that your output is to your liking.

Let’s say that you need to write a report on your sales statistics, including the weaknesses and strengths of your product. All you need to do is ask Copilot to create a report based on the data that you’re inputting and then let Copilot do the rest.

Analysing data with Copilot in Excel

Data is vital for your organisation to succeed. Copilot lets you analyse your data easily to find new information, trends, and other insights — all with just a few clicks within your existing Excel applications.

By simply conversing with your Copilot, you can find discoveries in your data and new ways to view the data within your organisation. Copilot will even make charts and other documentation to help you further analyse, understand, and take action on your organisation.

On top of this, Copilot helps you make changes to your whole presentation with ease, letting you take advantage of conditional formatting and other visual features to make sure that your spreadsheet is as visually clear and appealing as possible.

Creating a presentation with Copilot in PowerPoint

As well as Word and Excel, Copilot for 365 works within PowerPoint and helps you create stunning and rich presentations with ease.

You can simply tell Copilot what you want in a single prompt and it’ll output the presentation, adjusting to whatever you request from Copilot through refining your prompts and using natural language to help Copilot find what you need.

Copilot can also turn documents from throughout your organisation into an engaging and rich PowerPoint presentation, also estimating how long it should take you to present said document and PowerPoint.

However, Copilot takes this to the next level — not only can you create a PowerPoint presentation using it, but you can also take it further and use Copilot to stylise your presentation appropriately with animations, backgrounds, fonts, and everything else that matters within your presentation.

Copilot will also help you stay consistent between presentations, by keeping themes, formatting, and everything else the same. This will let you easily keep a cohesive identity and make yourself seem even more professional, all of which can be completed with just a simple prompt and refinement using natural language to talk to Copilot.

Collaborating with Copilot in Teams

Microsoft Teams is a collaborative platform already, but you can also collaborate with Copilot to use Microsoft Teams to its fullest potential.

You can use Copilot to easily get more out of your communications. From simply asking for summarisations and lists, to asking Copilot how you should respond or move forward, Copilot makes collaboration and communication easier than ever.
However, Copilot goes further than this, by helping you make decisions in real-time as well. For example, you can ask Copilot if an idea is a good or bad idea, and it’ll help you make an accurate and objective evaluation of said idea.

Copilot also helps you get caught up on everything you need to know. Just ask what’s been said so far in a meeting or channel, and Copilot will be able to ensure that you’re in the loop without having to interrupt the natural flow of conversation. On top of this, you can use Copilot to get insights out of whatever’s said in the meeting, to ensure that you have actionable insights and information.

Plus, Copilot will also work alongside you to ensure that you’re aware of everyone’s stance and opinions throughout the conversation, creating summarised perspectives for you to read and to help you inform your decisions.

Your Copilot Data Security Strategy

Copilot for Microsoft 365 is such an effective tool due to the fact that it has access to all the same data an employee has access to, and it can use this data as context for its suggestions. However, this presents a unique challenge, as many users have access to data that they should not. This is typically an accident where an employee will upload a sensitive or confidential file to a shared location, without realising who has access. This sensitive information may include 1:1 meeting notes, salary information or confidential company records.

Therefore, if a user were to prompt Copilot to answer questions about this sensitive information, Copilot will do what it does best and find the information accessible throughout the user’s Microsoft 365 estate. For this reason, businesses need to consider data privacy and security when implementing Copilot for Microsoft 365.

The two key data security features that businesses need to consider are access control and sensitivity labels.

Access Control

Access control is a crucial security protocol that ensures only authorised individuals have entry to specific resources, data, or functions within Microsoft 365. For Copilot for Microsoft 365 Adoption, access control is pivotal in protecting sensitive corporate data while allowing users to utilise the AI-enhanced features of Copilot efficiently. By managing use cases and pinpointing accurate strategies for access governance, organisations can uphold the integrity and confidentiality of their information. This encompasses enacting measures for data loss prevention, data categorisation, content sensitivity labelling and tagging, and instituting policies to restrict access, ensuring Copilot operates within the parameters of intended and authorised usage.

Sensitivity Labels

Sensitivity labels in Microsoft 365 enable organisations to classify and protect their data whilst ensuring productivity and collaboration. These labels empower businesses to implement protection settings such as encryption and content markings, including watermarks, headers, and footers, on documents and emails. For example, assigning a “Confidential” label not only encrypts the content but also imprints a “Confidential” watermark, guaranteeing that sensitive information is managed correctly.

For Copilot for Microsoft 365 adoption, sensitivity labels are of paramount importance as they offer a uniform and secure method to handle sensitive information within an organisation. By categorising data, organisations can dictate access and sharing settings, ensuring that only authorised individuals can view or modify the protected content.

Adoption of Copilot for Microsoft 365 does necessitate a conversation around data security and access control, however, data security is an ongoing process and therefore it should not stop organisations from running an adoption program with trusted employees.

Want to Get Started?

Copilot for Microsoft 365 has the potential to significantly increase productivity and kickstart creativity in your workplace. If you want to learn more about how you could be using Copilot or get ready to adopt the technology, get in contact with us and we will be happy to help.